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Reader Question: Physical Activity

What is your favourite physical fitness activity outside of writing? Does it give you ideas for your books?

My favorite fitness activity that I do on a regular basis is kung fu. I’ve been learning Fut Gar kung fu for almost four years now, and I love it!

(taken three and a half years ago–I’m a green sash now)

I love that it’s an intense work-out, and I feel I’ve accomplished something by getting through class. I love that I’m learning an actual skill that could protect me if I ever had to physically defend myself (something that thankfully has not come up yet), which gives me a confidence I didn’t have before. I love that it’s adaptable to individual strengths, so I can spar with someone far larger and more powerful than me, using advantages like speed and flexibility. And I also really love that the class I attend is full of sarcastic, kind-of-geeky people like me, who will get Monty Python quotes and Star Trek references and joke around between forms.

I think it has also helped my writing. I have a WIP with a main character who’s been trained in martial arts, for example, and while she hasn’t studied the exact same techniques I have (it’s set in Japan, and kung fu is Chinese), I feel I know enough about how fighting works now to make the action scenes believable. I don’t usually get ideas during class, though–most of the time it’s hard to think much about anything but what I’m doing there!

I also really, really enjoy taking long walks or hiking, but I don’t usually do much of that except while on vacation, exploring new places. (Wandering around my own city is fun, too, but it doesn’t the sense of adventure that can make it so much more enjoyable.) I get a lot of story ideas doing that, both from seeing things that catch my interest, and just from letting my mind wander as my feet are.

Originally published at Megan Crewe - another world, not quite ours. You can comment here or there.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 23rd, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
Sweet! And couldn't agree more. ;-)
May. 24th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
Oooh, is that you in the userpic? I'm so looking forward to learning the sword forms! (The first one will be at my next sash level.)
May. 24th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
That's me, but I don't do weapons forms presently. I wanted to learn the Broadsword form but the 8 stitches I got from my last attempt made a lot of my instructors shy to teach me more! ;-)
May. 24th, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
That sounds so awesome, and YOU are awesome, too! :-)
May. 24th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *blushes* I highly recommend trying out martial arts to anyone who's curious. There are so many different styles I think just about anyone can find one that suits them.
May. 24th, 2010 02:47 pm (UTC)
I very much want to take a martial arts class. I was looking at Tae Kwon Do, but am still not sure if I can commit to the mental/spiritual aspect of it. Add on the Fibromyalgia and my ability to commit to a physical activity wanes.

I do ride as often as I can (and there is nothing like being on a horse galloping through a field to get your creative juices flowing), and when I'm well I enjoy hot yoga.

In terms of research, I think that I really need to learn how to use a crossbow ;). Archey may be next.
May. 25th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
You might consider trying Tai Chi. I think a lot of people have the impression it's more just exercise rather than a real martial art, but if you find a class that teaches it properly, it really does involve fighting skills. But my impression is it's very low impact, so it might be a good option if you have health issues. One of Chris's friends hurt his knee when he came to our kung fu class (pushed himself a little too hard) and then started Tai Chi a little later and really loves it. And his knee is okay doing it. :)

The mental/spiritual aspect also varies from class to class. e.g., Mine focuses on learning the physical skill, and while obviously we need to concentrate in order to do that, we don't do any meditation or mental exercises or anything like that.

Learning crossbow would be cool! :D I think there's a medieval weapons place somewhere in Toronto that probably teaches stuff like that.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books

Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014

The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015

The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012

The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013

The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014

Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014

Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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